Aerobic Lawn Mowing In The Garden

I recently purchased a cordless electric push mower. It weighs 93 pounds. My friends, most of whom haven't used anything but a self-propelled or riding mower in the last 25 years, are incredulous. I have always used a push mower for the exercise, but the rip-cord style one tied my mowing hours to Dan being home to start it for me. Now I'm free to mow as I please, when I please.

Let me tell you, pushing that mower around in our hilly, uneven yard works up more of a sweat and heavy breathing than you'll get in any gym. And, instead of that locker-room odor, you're left with the fragrance of new-mown grass and a sense of accomplishment. To do our 8,000 square feet of "lawn," consisting of various fescues, ground ivy, moss, and assorted narrow-leaved weeds, takes about an hour.

The first run only took 45-minutes, but the grass wasn't all in yet and I was racing around because I didn't know whether the charge would last long enough to get the whole yard done in one pass (it does). After that, I was about ready for the EMTs and a long nap. Now I do half the yard, take a 15-minute break, and do the rest. As the season wears on, I hope to eliminate the break, though it's hard to do a whole hour without stopping to re-hydrate.

This has got to eliminate more than the 300 calories used as the standard for push mowing. Nevertheless, my doctor says it's no substitute for exercising on the other six days of the week. I don't know, I feel my thighs and biceps bulking up already. Maybe we should make this into an Olympic sport.

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